Pieces Together Jigsaw

Back on February 13, 2010, we reported that Salesforce had raised $575M in order to fund a more aggressive acquisition policy over the next few quarters that would involve a string of small-to-mid-sized deals, with potential for larger acquisitions.

The first of these new acquisitions occurred earlier this month with that $142M purchase of Jigsaw.  This is more money than spent, collectively, on its previous seven acquisitions. Yet, even after it pays for this pickup, will still have more than $1B in cash on hand. So our original musing that Salesforce might be in the market to add a marketing automation vendor to it’s portfolio is still intact.

David Taber at CIO wrote a great piece called and Jigsaw: How the Pieces Fit which explains what this trend means for your business:

…marketing automation is a distinct category of products, even though highly related to sales force automation and CRM. And the marketing automation arena is evolving furiously, particularly as social media and crowd-sourcing techniques come into vogue.

Jigsaw is one such innovator, focusing on the assembly and maintenance of high quality data about prospects in a cross-customer way. By leveraging what each of its customers knows about a given Lead, Jigsaw becomes the “high water mark” source for information from all of its customers. Classic crowd-sourcing, applied to the very difficult problem of lead data enrichment. This has been such a sore spot for marketers because most leads don’t want vendors to know a lot about them. They create multiple avatars to evade the intelligence gathering that’s part of any good marketing automation system. Jigsaw managed to counteract this “keep me anonymous” phenomenon with a set of incentives for members and participants, and garnered a good reputation for lead quality with sales managers.

Think Plaxo meets Wikipedia. And now, that meets

Read the entire article here.

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